While taste drives most food choices, eating nutrient-rich foods that provide the most nutrition per calorie is one of the best ways to "Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right," according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. As part of the 2014 National Nutrition Month® theme, the Academy encourages everyone to choose the most nutritionally-packed foods you can from each of the five MyPlate food groups every day.
Nutrient-rich foods and beverages provide vitamins, minerals, protein, carbohydrates and other essential nutrients that offer health benefits with relatively few calories.
"When your daily eating plans include foods like vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean meats, poultry, fish, eggs, fat-free or low-fat dairy, beans, nuts and seeds in the appropriate amounts, you are able to get many of the nutrients your body needs, all with relatively low amounts of calories," says registered dietitian nutritionist and Academy spokesperson Debbi Beauvais.
Beauvais offers practical ways to add nutrient-rich foods and beverages to your daily diet:
"You should enjoy the foods you eat. In choosing nutrient-rich foods, you'll find they are familiar, easy to find and represent the five MyPlate food groups," Beauvais says. "Achieving balance and building a healthier diet can be simple and stress-free. Selecting nutrient-rich foods and beverages first is a way to make better choices within your daily eating plan."
Beauvais also recommends limiting added sugars and reducing the major sources of solid fats. "Drink few regular sodas, fruit drinks and sports drinks, and cut back on cakes, cookies, ice cream, cheese and fatty meats like sausages, hot dogs and bacon," she says.
"You don't have to give up these foods entirely, but find ways to enjoy small amounts occasionally," Beauvais says.
Visit the Academy's website to view a library of recipes designed to help you "Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right" at http://www.eatright.org/Public/list.aspx?TaxID=6442576421
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